Friday, November 6, 2009


Don't get all proud of your cognitive skills. It's not like you're the first person to notice I'm all whacked on racks. It's pretty much common knowledge. In fact, maybe I was the first to know, but it's not like I can do anything about it. I've watched a buncha my buddies burst into flames, smelled that horrid smell, but still, I'm flying as fast as I can towards the irresistable blue glow of that zapper.

So I dropped rack #1 off at the powder coaters today. That was supposed to be the end of that wild episode, a break in the action, a chance to return to a somewhat normal life, if just for one night. But then Patty called me and told me she was going to a play with some friends tonight. What to do. Oh yeah, get normal. But I think it'll be ok if I just peek into the shop and make sure everything is where I left it.

I've been thinking a lot about fixturing. I didn't really have to do much on rack #1, but if you're gonna do racks or frames or anything to do with brazing at all, you're gonna have to fix shit in place. Unless you can learn to hold the brazing rod with your teeth, because that would free up a hand to hold things in place. Don't think I haven't thought about it.

But the idea for tonight was that I maybe I could use the same tubing that I'm building racks out of as struts to hold things in place during fab. All I need is something to clamp them together. Sounds simple enough, but if you've ever tried to clamp two round things together you know that in 90 seconds or less, you will be relying on someone close to you to talk you off the ledge. So I've been trying to wrap my head around a solution for a few days and then tonight I picked up some hardware on the way home from work and then beer and exhaustion made it all come together. I don't know if it's a success, but it's a start.

Here's some 1/4" x 1-1/2 flat bar, imprecisely cut, to put it mildly.

That's a stock $1.99 c-clamp on the left and a modified one on the right.

In this picture, we're getting ready to braze the piss out of things. Can you feel the power? The piece of wood is to keep the heat from conducting away from where we need it to stay. I wouldn't wanna be that piece of wood.

Here we are, you and I, doing important round filing.

I can sense that you are as excited as I am about what we've created.

Here I am, slapping my forehead and there you sit, just grinning. It's extremely difficult to find good help.

Don't you get it? The one piece of tubing can't get past the c-clamp. We should have filed the groove in the jaw diagonally. I brought you on board to save me from just this kind of mistake. Criminea. I've never been so exasperated.

All that aside, I think we have a winner of an idea. We'll have to make some new ones, but these will still be useful. You're off the hook, but just barely. Get ready to do some more filing and will you please visualize yourself focusing in, for a change.


Anonymous said...

I knew you weren't finished, (atleast not with racks). Junkie. wade

Pat S said...

Wade, you say junkie like it's a bad thing, I take a lotta pride. And yep, my ass is damn near finished.

FBC Spokane said...

Why don't you saw off one of those knuckles on the end of the threaded side and tack it on the top of the clamp so you can rotate both sides.

Just a thought, may not work.

EvilElf said...

A haiku for you

Your talent amazed
With the rack finally brazed
You won't seem so crazed

Bonus points for a haiku that rhymes.

Pat S said...

FBC, interesting idea. Swivels are the the dizzle.

EvilElf, that rules. And yep, the rhyming bonus points are unquestionably yours. The craziness is just beginning, though, I fear.